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Maryland Biotech Origins Outlined in TEDCO, DBED Study

September 06, 2002

Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Townsend recently announced the release of Founders of Maryland Bioscience and Medical Instrument Companies, a report on the career pathways taken by founders of biotechnology companies in Maryland.

Funded by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), the report is part of the Bioscience Dialogue, a collaborative effort within the state's biotechnology industry to identify issues of importance to its growth. The $30,000 report traces the background of 276 company founders in Maryland and highlights these findings in bio-entrepreneurship:

  • A large percentage of Maryland bioscience/biomedical companies are homegrown, though not by native Marylanders.
  • The pace of bioscience/biomedical start-up activity has accelerated over time.
  • The majority of entrepreneurs in this sector come from institutions, not corporations.
  • The National Institutes of Health are the primary generators of bio-entrepreneurs.

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies prepared the report, offering several policy and program recommendations:

  • Provide an open-armed experience for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows while they are in Maryland, exposing them to the state's successful bioscience entrepreneurs.
  • Fine-tune university policies and practices regarding the roles faculty may play in the start-up companies and the flexibility of their employment.
  • Become more knowledgeable about and support medical device company managers.
  • Redouble support for financiers who are matching cutting-edge science with seasoned management to launch new bioscience companies and make sure there are places, such as wet labs, for the start-ups to grow.
  • Fully exploit Maryland's international bioscience connections.
  • Intensify efforts to support the growth of the strongest bio-companies as they transition from R&D into production.

Founders of Maryland Bioscience and Medical Instrument Companies is available at http://www.marylandtedco.org.

New Science and Technology Centers Planned for Maryland Counties

In a related story, DBED is entering into a partnership with Montgomery County to create a new science and technology center on the Germantown campus of Montgomery College. Another science and technology center will be located in Calverton in East County.

Montgomery County has committed $4 million to create the Montgomery County Science and Technology Center at Montgomery College. The money will partially fund the acquisition of an adjoining 20-acre parcel of land for the expanded facility. DBED has offered to make a $2 million equity investment in the center.

Early plans for the East County Center for Science and Technology, include a technology business incubator, higher educational facilities, a telecommuter center, a business park the County would lease to technology companies and a daycare facility.

With more than 200 biotech companies, Montgomery County is home to the third largest bio-industry cluster in the U.S. The two centers are the County's latest effort to create a fertile environment for technology companies. Both centers will be modeled after the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center, a biotech research and business park that is the hub of the County’s biotech industry.